Graduate Student Day

Friday, April 11, 2014

Graduate Student Day — an annual celebration, competition, and award ceremony — is the University of South Carolina’s most comprehensive showcase of graduate scholarly and creative work. Sponsored by The Graduate School and held each spring, the event provides students an opportunity to present their work to the university and the larger community.


The morning competition categories are research oral presentation, research poster presentation, creative performance and display, and the three-minute thesis/dissertation speech. The afternoon award ceremony features Graduate Student Day competition winners, as well the announcement of numerous Graduate School, Office of the Vice President for Research, Center for Teaching Excellence and other student awards. See the complete Schedule of Events for Graduate Student Day 2014. For easy reference, you can also download a condensed schedule of student presentations.



All current graduate students from all disciplines are eligible to participate in Graduate Student Day. Space in the competition is limited, however, and submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance. Students wishing to compete in Graduate Student Day are asked to upload proposals and submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to the Graduate Management System (GMS). Proposals and abstracts are ranked by Graduate Directors.

The call for papers usually begins at the end of fall semester. Details and dates for Graduate Student Day 2015 will be posted here.

Oral Research Presentation

You will be expected to describe your work and its potential value to society in a 15 minute research presentation. These 15 minutes allow for a 12 minute presentation and 3 minutes of questions from the judges. Audiovisual aids may be used. Laptops equipped with PowerPoint will be provided, and you will need to bring a USB key to upload your presentation. The room will be equipped with a MS windows computer and projector. If you have any other images or digitally stored items you wish to present, you should also have these on your USB key. Please make sure that your presentation and other items are Windows compatible, as there will be no support for any other operating systems. Please note that you may not have access to the internet.

If your presentation requires the provided computer and projector, you must bring at least 10 printed copies of your presentation. These will be used in the event of unforeseen technical difficulties (e.g. a computer crash or the burnout of a projector bulb). If technical difficulties arise during the time of your presentation, we will ask you to present using the paper backup. Failure to have a paper backup could result in an inability to present your research and subsequent disqualification from the competition.

If your presentation involves prerecorded sound, please note that sound files must be compatible with Windows Media Player. If you are concerned about sound quality, you may want to bring your own device (MP3 player or tape recorder) to play the sound, as you will otherwise be limited to the quality of the onboard speakers that come with computer.

Poster Presentation

Presenters in this category will be tasked with presenting their research in a format consistent with posters displayed at academic or professional conferences in their field. There is no set format that must be followed, but posters will be ju dged on clarity of content, presentation display, and explanation of how the research impacts the presenter’s field and society.

Judges will view your poster for approximately 9 minutes and will ask questions regarding your presentation for a subsequent 3 minutes. The student is not permitted to make comments about the poster unless asked a question by a judge. Participants should expect other students, faculty, and staff to visit the competition throughout the session, so it is highly encouraged that presenters remain nearby.

Creative Presentation

Your goal should be to present your research and its significance to your field and/or society. You will be communicating to an intelligent but non-specialist audience, and your aim should be to engage your audience to the point that they want to know more about your research.

This is a unique category, and your presentation does not have many restrictions in regards to how the information must be presented. No flashing/strobe light fixtures are allowed in addition to any special effects that may cause harm to the crowd such as fog machines. If your presentation requires any specific props, it is your responsibility to provide them.

Your presentation may be presented in whatever format you feel best portrays your research as long as it is no longer than 15 minutes. After the 15 minute presentation, there will be a 5 minute Q & A session.

3 Minute Thesis/Dissertation Speech

Your goal should be to present your research and its significance to your field and/or society. You will be communicating to an intelligent but non-specialist audience, and your aim should be to engage your audience to the point that they want to know more about your research.

Your speech must be limited to 3 minutes and will begin when you start your presentation via speech or gesture. A timekeeper will inform presenters of how much time they have at certain intervals. The timekeeper will signal the end of the 3 minute period by saying, “Stop”. You will be disqualified if you do not stop on this command.

The speech must be spoken word with no poems or singing. You may not use any electronic media, and you are not allowed to use any additional props, such as costumes or musical instruments. You are allowed, but not required, to display one PowerPoint slide throughout the presentation. There can be no transitions, animations, or movement on the slide.

Graduate Student Day 2014

Graduate Student Day 2014 Logo Graduate Student Day 2014 Program

Graduate Student Day 2013

Graduate Student Day 2013 Logo Graduate Student Day 2013 Program Graduate Student Day 2013 Photos


If you have questions about Graduate Student Day, please contact Wright Culpepper at or 803-777-2477.